Traveling With Your Drone: Do Your Homework to Capture Majes…

Guest put up from AirVuz

For drone fanatics, generally majestic surroundings corresponding to a sundown or a storm cloud comes to you.

But more often than not, a drone and its pilot have to journey to the majestic surroundings to seize actually breath-taking views of mountains, seashores, torrential rivers or alluring cityscapes.

“Getting to these views might be just a quick drive down the road, but more often than not, the views are destinations away from home, even away from your home country,” says Tyler Mason, Director of Digital Media at, a preferred web site devoted to drone movies. “To produce high quality, attractive videos like those on AirVūz — which features tens of thousands of drone videos shot by professional and amateur drone enthusiasts — a drone videographer must take to the skies for the chance to capture and experience such beauty for themselves.”

With drone expertise nonetheless comparatively new, particularly to airways, touring with a drone could seem significantly daunting. International journey is already disturbing with out the added pressure brought on by gear that might not be acceptable in accordance to cautious airways.

Image: AirVuz

Proper planning is a should to guarantee unwelcome surprises pop up alongside the way in which. Here are a couple of suggestions from Mason on how to pack and journey together with your drone anyplace on the earth.

  1. Do your homework. It’s crucial to do some homework earlier than taking off with a drone. Review TSA tips in addition to airline insurance policies to decide for those who can convey your drone with you.

According to TSA rules, drones will likely be allowed by means of the safety checkpoint of U.S. airports, however this doesn’t imply that each airline will enable drones or drone equipment on an airplane.

Investigate not solely airline insurance policies on drones, but additionally the nationwide and native insurance policies of your required vacation spot and any international locations in between the place you could have a layover or connection. Like nationwide parks, cities, and monuments within the United States, areas and international locations overseas could have legal guidelines prohibiting the usage of drones, and even possessing a drone. Drone fanatic web sites, corresponding to, can inform you the place you’ll be able to fly, each domestically and internationally. It’s additionally vital to decide for those who want particular licensing.

For instance, in Ireland, all drones over 1 kg (2 kilos) have to be registered with the Irish Aviation Authority as a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) in accordance to IAA Order, S.I. No. 563.  The on-line registration requires that operators have accomplished and handed a security course acknowledged by the IAA. In Ireland, a drone operator have to be no less than 18 years previous, or accompanied by a registered grownup. It’s greatest to view your vacation spot’s air authority insurance policies and speak to the mandatory officers to ensure your leisure or business flying is authorized. Do so very far upfront, as you could want to acquire explicit registration or take a security course.

The actuality stays that you could be not be allowed to convey your drone on a airplane, and even when on the airplane, might not be allowed to convey it or fly it the place you prefer to in accordance with legal guidelines and rules. Be certain to know beforehand or ask categorical permission to fly at a location, in any other case you may get your self into some sizzling water with a overseas police power.

  1. Know what you’ll be able to test. If you could have a bigger drone that gained’t meet the necessities for overhead bins within the cabin, it’s greatest to pack your drone in a tough shell case. However, as soon as checked, be ready for airline missteps. Misplaced, broken, or misplaced drones will probably go uncompensated by airways.

To keep away from threat of injury or misplacement by an airline, it’s greatest to journey together with your drone in a carry-on delicate pack. To an extent, you’ll have extra management over how your drone is dealt with within the airport and on the airplane, and ultimately keep away from extraneous injury.

Soft packs are advantageous when on location and also you want to trek by means of a metropolis or the outside. Hard circumstances are rather more cumbersome and require extra effort to carry in hand when traversing to a movie spot.

  1. Battery security. While plane authorities could not thoughts that you simply convey the hull of your drone together with you, airways are involved concerning the battery used to energy your drone. Flyers who intend to journey with uninstalled (spare) lithium ion batteries should pack them in carry-on baggage. U.S. airline security forbids lithium batteries within the cargo maintain of an airplane as a result of these batteries could spontaneously combust by short-circuiting.

To keep away from issues at test in, safety, or on the gate, ensure that your lithium batteries (both in your carry-on or in your drone) don’t exceed 160 watts. Additionally, some rules state that flyers can stick with it not more than 2 lithium batteries exceeding 100 watts, however don’t exceed 160 watts.

Though lithium batteries are a priority for all airways, air journey suppliers have various insurance policies relating to how passengers can journey with lithium batteries. Some don’t even enable spare or put in batteries on planes. Be certain your lithium batteries are packed in fireplace resistant luggage and are uncharged or discharged to no less than 50% or decrease.

Listed listed below are the insurance policies from widespread airways. However, we advise that you simply contact your airline to affirm that they permit drones and lithium batteries.

Air Canada Only 2 lithium batteries per individual in carry-on. Battery terminals have to be taped or encased in nonconductive packaging. No batteries over 160 watts.
Air France Batteries don’t want to be uninstalled from system. The drone may be checked however spare batteries have to be protected in carry-on. No batteries over 160 watts.
Alaska Lithium spares in carry-on. No spare lithium batteries by any means in checked baggage.
American A most of two spare lithium batteries not exceeding 160 watts may be carried onto the airplane. The drone in its field have to be smaller than 22x14x19 in.
Allegiant 2 most spare batteries have to be carried on and the terminals protected. No batteries exceeding 160 watts.
British Airways four most spare batteries for batteries beneath 100 watts. Must obtain approval to test a battery put in in a tool.
Delta 2 most spare batteries in carry-on. Must not exceed 160 watts.
Hawaiian 2 most spare lithium batteries have to be packed in carry-on.
Jet Blue Device have to be utterly powered off, most of two spare lithium batteries in carry-on.
Qantas Lithium batteries may be packed in carry-on or hand baggage.
Southwest All spare lithium batteries have to be in carry-on baggage.
United No free/spare batteries in checked baggage. Maximum 2 100-160-watt batteries in carry-on, correctly protected.


  1. Spare components. Whether you pack your drone in a backpack or in a tough case, don’t neglect to convey a set of additional propellers in case of injury throughout transit. Also convey alongside any instruments you’ll want for repairs to keep away from the effort of shopping for any instruments whereas touring.
  2. Back up footage. As you’re taking footage whereas touring, take out your drone’s reminiscence card and switch the information onto a pc or laborious drive the place it may be accessed later. Do this on the finish of every day you movie together with your drone to guarantee your laborious work is saved on varied gadgets in case of bother.
  3. Be ready for a bit further consideration at safety. Arrive effectively earlier than boarding. Though not unlawful to convey your drone with you all through the United States, you’re carrying considerably harmful batteries and gear that may require further inspection. It’s vital to be sincere with the TSA officers concerning the contents of your bag and the batteries you’re lugging round.

The purpose is to keep away from injury, loss or confiscation of your drone throughout journey. Arguing with the officers or disrupting a routine search can do exactly the alternative of that purpose. As the English say: “Keep calm and carry on.”

  1. Train and boat journey. According to Amtrak, “fragile and/or valuable items” corresponding to drones are greatest transported as carry-on baggage. However, it’s best to contact a rail station to make certain that they know you’ll be touring with an unmanned aerial system.

On Amtrak trains, passengers are allowed two private gadgets and two carry-on gadgets every with out further charges. Make certain the remainder of your gadgets are so organized to match meet these tips.

Major cruise traces, corresponding to Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Disney Cruises, and Holland America, are unanimous in prohibiting drones onboard. However, Carnival Cruise coverage specifies that drones could also be used when at port, however by no means onboard (each at port or at sea).

  1. Shipping. If you require as a lot baggage room as needed for different journey gadgets, or don’t need to carry your drone with you thru the airport, you’ll be able to ship your drone forward of you thru UPS or FedEx to your vacation spot.

According to each firm’s delivery insurance policies, lithium batteries are simply as a lot a priority with delivery as they’re in flying. FedEx requires a declaration of harmful items and IATA coaching to have the ability ship lithium batteries.

Similarly, UPS requires pre-approval for lithium batteries.

While you’ll be able to pack your batteries with drones and ship them, it’s admittedly fairly the effort. An various is to ship the hull of your drone with out batteries, which requires no pre-approval. Pack your spares with you whenever you head to the airport, given you observe the airline’s insurance policies.

  1. Fees could apply. At some locations, corresponding to in Mexico, drones aren’t thought-about duty-free photographic gear. If you’re flying together with your drone, it counts as a part of both your checked or carry-on allowance. You could have to pay a payment for added baggage or pay customs to convey your drone into one other nation.

The Bottom Line

Remember too that every one journeys, when drones are involved, are distinctive. Always do analysis to ensure you’re complying with rules each time you intend to journey together with your drone. Even for those who’ve been to a rustic overseas a couple of occasions and efficiently carried your drone, legal guidelines are topic to change as drone flying turns into extra commonplace.

Planning an tour with a drone could at first seem tiresome, however the effort will likely be enormously repaid with beautiful footage like what’s showcased on AirVūz. Scenes of faraway locations, vibrant colours, and a myriad of cultures and existence are inside your attain.

Your journey bug is actually drone-adaptable.

For extra tips about how to create drone movies, go to

Frank Schroth is editor in chief of DroneLife, the authoritative supply for information and evaluation on the drone trade: it’s individuals, merchandise, tendencies, and occasions.
Email Frank

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